I’ve spent the last month literally on the road between moving, a speaking engagement and a conference. I faced many eating challenges, but my greatest challenge was eating healthy when eating out.
Generally, when I’m traveling I eat out, but it’s only a couple of meals—usually dinner or lunch. Breakfast, I tend to bring food to eat and many times for lunch, too, but my last trip, I had no way to bring an ice chest.
Not only is it expensive to eat all my meals out, but I find it difficult to eat healthy. There are only so many salads I can eat, and honestly, even those can be high calorie dishes, even if I order the dressing on the side. Eating out occasionally is a fun treat, but I find that when I eat out day after day, I crave home cooking.
Back To Basics
So, now that I’m settled for the next few weeks until we move into our new house, I’ve found I’m having to go back to the basics and concentrate on eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m full. Eating has emotional ties for me. I eat when I’m bored, stressed, anxious. I can come up with just about any reason to eat.
And all that traveling also meant I got very little exercise, which is a twofold problem for me. If I don’t exercise, I will start to gain weight, and I don’t sleep well. And when I don’t sleep well, I want to eat more frequently. But when I exercise regularly, I have more energy, I eat less and I feel better. So, it’s a vicious cycle. When I’m not exercising, I sleep poorly, eat more, and I feel bloated and lazy.
I also stopped savoring my food when my life went into high-octane, crazy mode. I’m still struggling with that. For me, the first step is becoming aware I’m not savoring my food.
I went back to Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat by Dr. Michelle May. Choosing a random page, I came across her strategies for fearless eating. The section where she advised eating food mindfully jumped out at me. I haven’t been mindfully eating or exercising, but now I plan to:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat when I’m hungry
- Stop when I’m full
- Savor my food
As I ate breakfast this morning I made a conscious effort to savor my food, and I enjoyed it so much more. Then I had an orange for a snack, scarfed it down and didn’t appreciate it at all. It took away the pleasure of eating, so I will focus on savoring my food, or mindfully eating as Dr. May says.
As I have said many times, I am a work in progress, so I will continue to work on my eating challenges.